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COVID-19 virus is back in central Alberta, with concert cancellation the first casualty

Opening concerts for Central Alberta Chamber Orchestra will be rescheduled

With cooler weather and more indoor gatherings, COVID-19 is back and making its fall rounds.

One early casualty is the opening concert for the Central Alberta Chamber Orchestra, which had to be postponed because of sickness among some of the musicians.

“Due to an outbreak of Covid 19 within the ensemble, the board of directors and I have made the difficult decision to postpone the season opener, Musical Minestrone,” stated the group’s artistic director James Bicago.

Performances of tunes by Stravinsky, Bernstein and Prokofiev were to have been held on Friday in St Luke’s Anglican Church and Saturday in Coronation, but will now have to be re-scheduled to a later date. Tickets purchased to date will be refunded through Eventbrite.

“We do not wish to help spread illness, or to have our performers play while sick,” said Bicago. He added new dates for this concert will be announced for later in the season.

Some booster vaccines are available for COVID-19. But most Central Albertans would do better to wait for a new improved vaccine that’s expected to be better matched to a mutated form of the virus that has already been spreading in the southern hemisphere, said Marco Abdalla, pharmacist and manager for Aspire Pharmacy in Red Deer.

Abdalla expects the better-matched vaccine to be available to pharmacies by the middle or end of October.

In the meantime, People who are immuno-compromised should speak to their doctors about whether it’s better for them to get the existing vaccine in the interim, he added.

Like all viruses, COVID tends to spread more rapidly in the fall when people are gathering indoors once again.

Abdalla said high-risk people — including those with heart problems, obesity, diabetes, asthma or chronic lung disease, sickle cell disease, or who are immunocompromised from cancer or other conditions — are at greater risk for getting very sick from COVID-19 and maywant to avoid large gatherings, keep their distance from others, or wear a mask.

As for fans of the Central Alberta Chamber Orchestra, the group’s next scheduled concert, A Charlie Brown Christmas!, will be on Dec. 15, 16, and 17 in Red Deer, Ponoka, and Innisfail. More information is available at